How Many Genders Are There
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Politics and Activism

There Are Only Two Genders

A scientific look at the number of genders

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A prominent social issue in today's society is the concept of gender. I often hear many people constantly arguing about how many genders there are. More conservative people tend to say there are only two, and more liberal people tend to say gender is a spectrum. But which is correct? According to science, the more conservative side is correct- there are only two genders.

Gender is determined by chromosomes in the human body. Each person has 23 pairs of chromosomes in total- 22 controlling development, and the 23rd controlling gender. In science, female chromosomes are called X and male chromosomes are called Y. Males are composed of XY and females are XX. When a baby is conceived, it is given an X chromosome from the female and an X or Y chromosome from the male, which determines the gender of the baby. In basic biology, there are only males and females, and there's no way to not be. Therefore, science proves there are only two genders.

I have heard many people argue gender is different from sex because gender is a mental construct developed by culture. They believe gender can be decided from life experience and human interactions so, therefore, they can choose to identify as many things. There are many many "genders" people identify as. These are formed by intertwining the male and female genders or disregarding them altogether. However, Dictionary.com defines both gender and sex as either the female or male division of a species. This means gender is not different from sex and is a physical trait, so someone cannot choose what gender he or she is. Gender is not an opinion. It is not something someone can choose.

Even for people who identify as transgender, the two-gender concept still applies. Merriam Webster defines transgender as "being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth." For example, a biological boy identifies as a girl or a biological girl identifies as a boy. If the biological boy identifies as a girl, but still has all the reproductive organs of a boy, his gender is male. On the other hand, if that boy has the surgery to become a girl, completely changing his biological makeup, then he becomes female. The person is not transgender or any other gender. He (or she) is a girl. If anything, transgender is a word used to describe someone who wants to identify as another gender, but it is not a third gender. When people change genders, they are still either male or female.

All in all, there are only two genders: male and female. Science shows us that gender is a physical trait that cannot be changed or made up. Gender is determined at birth to be either male or female, and only male or female.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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